Huge confusion picking my first ccw handgun


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Jabr0ney
August 23, 2011, 07:43 PM
I'm currently twenty turning twenty one next month so here in Florida I can finally carry. The problem is I'm lost as to which gun to buy

Cost: trying to keep below 500. Cheaper the better

At first I was almost positive I wanted either a j frame or a sp101, but then I considered ammo cost. It's going to be my first handgun so I want to get A LOT of practice in. This leads me to then deciding to get a 9mm semi

My next sure decision was a kel-tec pf9. After going to shops and doing research though I've detered away from it. All shop owners told me it wasn't a range gun and wouldn't hold up to the abuse of costant shooting. Also a gun that I have to break down and sand and polish almost every piece as soon as I buy it new, doesn't seem like a quality firearm to me.

Now I'm looking at anything from a cz p-01 to a Springfield xd9 sc. I'm basically looking at small double stacks now since those seem to be able to take a lot of range time. Since they are double stack though, that means thicker and I'm not sure how easy it will be to conceal.

I'm open to any and all input and suggestions!! Since it's my first gun I'm open to a 1911 style or even a DAO since Ill be starting fresh and practicing a lot

Main requirements: under 500, 9mm or another cheap but adequate caliber, easy to conceal.

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FruitCake
August 23, 2011, 07:48 PM
Kahr CW9, slim,9mm, easy to conceal in your price range.

Pyro
August 23, 2011, 07:57 PM
I haven't bought a modern handgun yet that I paid more than $150 :what:
Not counting my cap n' ball revolver, good luck CCing an 8 inch Colt Navy.
Out of the three, I can and have carried each one (though not at the same time).
Keep in mind you get what you pay for and each one required maintenance to get up and running to 100%.

Kel-tec definitely rings a bell to what could fit your package.

Jabr0ney
August 23, 2011, 08:05 PM
Is the kahr cw9 good for constant range shooting?

And believe me I really really want to love keltec. Great concealable guns, cheap, made in my own state, but they seem like they can't hold up to a lot of rounds through it. They give the pf9 a 6000 round life expectancy compared to a cz p-01 with a 35,000 round life

ColtPythonElite
August 23, 2011, 08:09 PM
Get the J frame or SP.....used .38 brass can be had for free or pretty darn cheap. Send you hulls to MasterCast in exchange and you will be able to practice without busting the bank.

http://www.mastercast.net/mastercast.net/Remanufactured_Ammo_Retail_Sales.html

Fisherdave10
August 23, 2011, 08:16 PM
About a month ago I bought my first CCW handgun. I was in the same boat as you and did a lot of looking around, reading and researching. I ended up choosing a Ruger SR9c stainless. I really like this gun. I called around to find the best local price and found a shop which had the gun for $395. :) That's cheaper than Budsgunshop.com. The OTD price after tax was $433ish.

Right after purchasing it, I removed the magazine disconnect. Later, I used liquid flitz (highly recommended) to hand polish the striker and some of the internals to smooth things out a bit (not that the trigger is bad). The striker channel had a few small metal chips and oil that needed to be cleaned out. The trigger and internals are very similar to a Glock and the trigger pull feels very similar. I think my trigger is slightly lighter than a Glock, and very crisp.

After 50 factory rounds and 250 reloads down range I like the trigger and it has been 100% reliable. It's my EDC and I carry it in a Kholster holster about 4 o'clock. I keep the 17 round full size magazine in my pocket and carry with the 10rd magazine (no extension) plus one in the chamber. Some people complain about the loaded chamber indicator and the manual safety. I wasn't sure how much I would like those features, but after a month of use, I LOVE both the LCI and manual safety. If you don't like the safety, you can leave it off. I don't think it would ever accidentally flip on.

I like the sights. While I can make tighter groups with my brother's M&P40 it is still very accurate, especially for a compact carry gun. It is a joy to shoot. Recoil feels like a full size gun.

While there aren't as many after market parts as a Glock could have, there are a growing number of parts you can add. Galloway Precision makes many parts. http://www.gallowayprecision.com/sr9409c40cparts.html Last month, Ruger released a .40 version of this gun. I chose 9mm over .40 due to ammunition costs.

malakili
August 23, 2011, 08:26 PM
I might suggest the Ruger SR9C for your purposes. galleryofguns.com has them for $439 right now.

It's in 9mm, 3.5" barrel, comes with a big 17rd mag for high capacity and a short 10rd mag for concealability. Rugers are known for taking lots and lots of shooting without complaining.

I have the full size SR9 and like it a lot. Super reliable, good feel, easy to shoot well.

One caveat: The SR9 series comes with a mag disconnect, ie you can't shoot the gun unless the mag is in place. But if this doesn't bother you, it's a solid choice.

LOL, looks like fisherdave beat me to it!

Lawdawg45
August 23, 2011, 08:27 PM
I think your original choice of the J-Frame is the best selection for a new shooter, but you could look at a used Glock or a Ruger P series or their SR9.;)

LD45

Bob Shoots
August 23, 2011, 08:28 PM
I suggest that you go to your local gun shop and look at their used weapons. Handle then and get the feel for it. Settling for a gun (or anything else) is a sure way to buyers' remorse. Don't be afraid to wait for what you what. Impatience is the enemy of smart decision making.

Plan2Live
August 23, 2011, 08:43 PM
Good advice above about looking at used guns. Heck, you should even look at the pawn shops for some of the older models like the Smith & Wesson semi-autos like the 3913 or the CS9. I only recently discovered the CS9 and had I know it existed before I bought a "modern" gun I might have gone that route instead simply because I prefer a hammer for conceal carry. Subjective? Absolutely, but we are talking MY piece of mind, no one elses. And that's how you should look at it. Find out what works for you. Good luck! It's a lot of work.

Jabr0ney
August 23, 2011, 08:50 PM
I plan on going to a local gun range and shooting a few rentals, but they don't have too many choices.

The sr9c looks very good. Can someone explain what the pros and cons are of the magazine disconnect? I don't see why it's a problem

BullfrogKen
August 23, 2011, 08:57 PM
You can do a lot worse than a Kahr. But in your price range it'll serve you quite well.

MyGreenGuns
August 23, 2011, 09:04 PM
I spent 9 or 10 months shopping before I bought my CCW. Dont rush, you'll end up regretting it. Go to a good range that rents guns and try them all out. Pawn shops and used guns are going to be cheaper, but you might want to bring someone with you to help you check them out. Read lots of THR articles, but try them for yourself before you decide. You're lookin at pretty much what I bought, but what works for me isnt for everyone.

I'm not a fan of the tiny polyguns as they seem to be "emergency use only".

(My 1st handgun) Paid $530 for a new XD9 4" barrel (full size). No conceal problems with a loose overshirt. I carry it @ 4O'clock in a Galco Summer holster. I believe the subcompact has a shorter grip and it might be a little easier to conceal in trade for capacity. I have massive amounts of range time with this one. Can hit 4-5" groups at 150ft. Don't feed it wolf ammo.

(My 2nd handgun) Paid $300 for a used S&W 637 J-frame 1-7/8" barrel (.38spl). I carry it at 12O'Clock with a clip holster (can post pic if you like). Massively easy to conceal under a T-shirt. But shorter barrel makes it a shorter range weapon, I dont shoot at more than 25ft.

Good luck, have fun!

EchoBravo
August 23, 2011, 09:05 PM
How about a CZ-82? $250 and you're in business. 9mm Mak available for cheap on the 'net. Just another idea- I don't have one...but want one!

Fisherdave10
August 23, 2011, 09:17 PM
The sr9c looks very good. Can someone explain what the pros and cons are of the magazine disconnect? I don't see why it's a problem

The magazine disconnect prevents the gun from being fired (or dry fired) by blocking the striker whenever the magazine is out of the gun. If you have the magazine disconnect, your gun will not fire without a magazine inserted.

Magazine disconnects are very controversial.

"Pros" 1 If your weapon was ever taken from you, you could drop the magazine and render the gun useless while you escape. Massad Ayoob has said several LEOs have had their lives saved by this 'feature' after a BG got a hold of their gun (IMO, for CCW the likelyhood of that happening is close to zero). FYI, Very few modern pistols have a mag disconnect and law enforcement tends to prefer a 'straight' pistol without a disconnect or manual safety such as a Glock. Just because some lives have been saved because of a disconnect, doesn't mean lives have not been lost because of a disconnect.
2 If you leave your loaded gun simply laying around the house :banghead: it would not fire (at least it's not supposed to) if it got into the wrong hands unless a magazine was inserted.

"Cons" 1 If you're doing a 'tactical reload' and you need to fire before you can insert your magazine, you would only hear a click. No bang.
2 I believe if one was accustomed to believing his gun was made safe simply by removing the magazine, he may develop unsafe handling habits. (just a personal opinion)
3 Some magazine disconnects such as the one on my dad's Browning Hi-Power make the trigger feel pretty bad.
4 It's a mechanical device. All mechanical devices (manual safeties included) can and eventually will fail. Always keep your gun pointed in a safe direction.

Many believe magazine disconnects are only installed on guns to appease liberal law makers, since they tend to believe "safety" devices on guns = gun safety. Any reasonable gun owner knows REAL safety is your brain, not a device.

If you have the magazine disconnect in an SR9c, you cannot dry fire your weapon without causing damage to your striker. I wanted to dry fire my SR9c without a magazine so I removed it. I think the trigger pull was also improved by doing so.

I believe the fewer the things that could prevent my gun from firing when I need it to, the better. It only took a few minutes and I honestly feel safer with it removed.

almherdfan
August 23, 2011, 09:22 PM
I went through several pistols before selecting the Ruger SR9c and NAA black widow (22LR/22WMR). I would also recommend the Bersa Thunder CC in .380. I shot a 9mm Kahr on Sunday & was very impressed.

Just handle/shoot several before you spend your $500.

jonmerritt
August 23, 2011, 09:24 PM
Just get one of each and try them out.

Jabr0ney
August 23, 2011, 09:32 PM
Hey greenguns could you post a picture? Interested to see how well it conceals

Thanks fisherdave for all the help. I'm def going to keep the sr9c option open. The magazine disconnect doesn't seem like a problem to me since I probably won't be dry firing any of my guns without snap caps anyway

thefamcnaj
August 23, 2011, 09:38 PM
I would go with the ruger Sr9c great gun in your price range. Or a Glock 26 if you are willing to pay an extra 50 dollars. The glock will hold up to any abuse you can through at it.

Shadow 7D
August 23, 2011, 09:40 PM
AGAIN
Shoot it first, please

A pocket mouse can* be a pain to shoot, an may not be your cup of tea,
the right gun, in the right holster carried the right way...
it will take a bit to find, and DON'T assume that because XYZ said "this is the PERFECT CCW" that it will work for you.

Becuase YOU are YOU, and what works for ME, probably won't work for YOU.

Josh45
August 23, 2011, 09:46 PM
Going to a GS with a range can help you out in your situation. If you have any friends that have CCW that they carry, You can ask them for their help as well. Shoot a few rounds if there willing to help you out.

I carry a PT-145 Mil pro Sub Compact and its fine on concealing as long as your dressed correctly. Remember that, Sometimes your gonna need to dress around your gun.

I really can't help you in a choice for your caliber as I do not own one personally. The only thing I can recommend is what I stated above about range rentals and if your friends can help you out as well if the CCW.

basicblur
August 23, 2011, 09:53 PM
I'm an XDSC owner (both 9 & 40)-it's my main CCW, but as you already know, being a double-stack it is a little thick.

I've been in the market for something a little thinner for hot weather/hard to conceal situations and just recently picked up a Ruger LC9. Lots of folks seem to toss out the Kahr name, and for a while they pretty much had the smaller gun market covered, but I've never warmed up to 'em, and the Ruger is quite a bit cheaper.

AFA the magazine safety-I think most folks that just automatically tell you to remove it are the victims of folks in the past removing it from old Browning High Powers. On the Browning, the magazine disconnect affects the trigger-many folks removed 'em to improve trigger pull/feel. On most modern designs (you'll have to do your homework), the magazine disconnect should be of a design which will not affect trigger pull.
I recently picked up a Police Special M&P in 357 SIG which has the magazine disconnect-doesn't bother me, so I leave it alone.
Also note that I understand some LE agencies specify their guns have a magazine disconnect, as some say during historical confrontations/struggles when an officer realizes he's not going to be able to retain his weapon, he's been able to drop the magazine, let the BG have the gun (now useless), and have time to gain distance/time and draw his backup gun.

On my XDSC, I did have to add a Pearce Grip Extender (http://www.pearcegrip.com/Products/Springfield%20Armory/PG-XD) to take care of the danglin' pinky-the extender really 'locks in' ye olde grip.

AFA trigger jobs...give it a 1,000 round trigger job before you even consider messing with the trigger.
One o' my pet peeves is everybody gettin' all bent outta shape 'cuz they don't have the perfect trigger. I practice like I think my gun will be used (if/when not at the range), and as such, I practice using a 'controlled slap'-for SD, when your life is on the line, don't be surprised if you don't completely ignore travel, reset, riding the sear, yadda yadda yadda...
'Course, I learned on DA revolvers, so I've never been trigger sensitive.
Consider this little bit o' wisdom from Ayoob (I had to laugh when I saw it, knowing it would PO a lot of folks): A light trigger pull is, more than anything else, a crutch for bad trigger technique.

Oh...happy birthday, and don't wait 'til you perfect the mechanics before you start learning the legal aspects of carrying/using a gun in SD!

JohnBiltz
August 23, 2011, 09:57 PM
You need to decide on the type of gun you want. Sub-compact double stacks you are looking at the Glock G26, SR9c and S&W M&P 9c as the major contenders. I'd shoot all 3. I own and carry the G26. I think the sub-compacts just get it right. Its still big enough to use on the range or if you need to defend yourself, has an adequate capacity and is small enough to carry.

Here is my advice, don't get hung up on getting it perfect out of the box. Get something that you can practice with even if its not the perfect carry. Right now you need to shoot and learn to shoot. After you are carrying awhile you are going to know a lot more about carrying and what you want in a carry gun. You may want to go bigger but that is rare. You may find them too thick to carry comfortably. You may be like me and find them perfect but they will give you good service, something to practice with and a place to go next if you are not happy. If you go smaller you really have to start making compromises on something and you just are not experienced enough to know what compromise to make for you.

MyGreenGuns
August 23, 2011, 10:02 PM
1st pic ~ Clip holster ~ hooks to pants, hang it near a beltloop
2nd pic ~ Shirt covering
3rd pic ~ Gun exposed

I dont recommend a braided belt for carry, but with my .38 it holds up fine. For any larger gun, buy a GUN BELT. Heavier stitching makes stronger base. I'm at my mom's house, asked her to take the pix. She said, "I never know when you're carrying a gun." I told her, "thats the idea."

(bigger pix, slow connections beware)

basicblur
August 23, 2011, 10:04 PM
I fergot to add-you would serve yourself well by maybe picking up a couple of good books-here's a few for starters:
The Gun Digest Book of Concealed Carry (http://www.amazon.com/Gun-Digest-Book-Concealed-Carry/dp/0896896110/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1314151066&sr=8-1)
The Gun Digest Book of Combat Handgunnery (http://www.amazon.com/Gun-Digest-Book-Combat-Handgunnery/dp/0896895254/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1314151187&sr=8-3)

Not really instructional (but you can learn from actual cases), but a nice break from learning the mechanics-everyone I've loaned my copy to say they have a hard time putting it down.
Ayoob Files: The Book (http://www.amazon.com/Ayoob-Files-Book-Massad-F/dp/0936279168/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1314151254&sr=8-4)

Deus Machina
August 24, 2011, 04:19 AM
Like is often said, go to a shop, handle everything, and fire whatever you can rent.

I'm a fan of the new Ruger compacts, and would have one if I didn't prefer my hammer-fired guns. Also a fan of Bersa if you need cheap, but Ruger's higher on my list.

My CCW is a CZ 75D PCR (75 compact with a decocker instead of manual safety, and otherwise only visual differences) and, while it's not a thin gun (It's about as thick as a Glock) jeans, a T-shirt, and a Fist adjustable IWB holster hide it on my 5'8" 125-pound self.

Also, as my vote, check CZ. Absolutely the best grips and angle I've ever held. Your mileage may vary.

Remember that easier a gun hides, the less fun it's likely to be at the range. You can hide a Ruger LC9 in any pocket you have, but all the reports I've heard is that 9mm and thin grips don't make for a comfortable time in a gun barely more than a pound.

Look at the way you dress, your build, where the gun is comfortable, and so on. One friend of mine can't stand to carry anything heavier than a mini-revolver. I carry the CZ. My best friend of 14 years can carry a full-sized Beretta 92, but is usually carrying an all-steel 1911.

A CCW is a very personal thing.

PabloJ
August 24, 2011, 06:30 AM
I would buy Glock simply because it is commonly found in holsters of elite police and military units throughout the world. Second hand one in excellent condition can be had for well under $500 mark.

9mmepiphany
August 24, 2011, 12:07 PM
It is hard to tell what you'll be able to conceal without your body size and type, but being as you live in FL, I would think loose clothing would be the rule.

The Kahr CW9 is a great gun to carry concealed, easy to learn to shoot and able to stand up to constant use.

If looking for something a bit larger, as well as less spendy, that comes out of the box with a very good trigger and accuracy, I'd recommend that you take a look at the SigPro 2022. It is the hidden value of the Sig line and I normally see them of <$400

Top Gun (http://www.topgunsupply.com/sig-pro-handguns/) is an excellent dealer to do business with and has them currently in stock

Tallinar
August 24, 2011, 12:16 PM
Main requirements: under 500, 9mm or another cheap but adequate caliber, easy to conceal.

Used Glock 19. Easy peasy.

Andrew Wyatt
August 24, 2011, 12:24 PM
Get a used Glock 19.

easyg
August 24, 2011, 12:41 PM
Thanks fisherdave for all the help. I'm def going to keep the sr9c option open. The magazine disconnect doesn't seem like a problem to me since I probably won't be dry firing any of my guns without snap caps anyway.
Here's another recommendation for the Ruger SR9c.
It's an excellent pistol.
And don't worry about the magazine disconnect....you can remove it in less than two minutes if you like.
I removed the mag. disconnect from mine and it works 100%.

http://i112.photobucket.com/albums/n165/allenXdog/HPIM7193.jpg

sarduy
August 24, 2011, 01:44 PM
what about a sigma 9mm, only 299 at budsgunshop.com and is about the same size of a g19 with a heavier trigger.

sigma
http://www.budsgunshop.com/catalog/product_info.php/cPath/21_39_71/products_id/13283

taurus pt111
http://www.budsgunshop.com/catalog/product_info.php/cPath/50_495/products_id/13493

HankR
August 24, 2011, 03:27 PM
In addition to FisherDaves excellent summary of the pros/cons of the magazine disconnect, I believe that some games/competitions require you to unload, remove the magazine and then drop the hammer to "show clear". This won't work with a mag disconnect

USAF_Vet
August 24, 2011, 04:15 PM
I picked up my CCW gun this month. My LGS got in a used Smith & Wesson 469, 2nd generation double stack wondernine, 12 round mag. Paid $250 for it.

Shop around, wait for bargains. I was in the process of buying a S&W 22a when the 469 came in. I jumped on the 469, since it filled a role other than cheap range plinker, which was all the 22a would ever be.

As a 2nd Gen auto, S&W has put out their 3rd gen, and of course the Sigma.

a lot of carry does depend on your body size. In another thread, a lot of folks said the Glock 19 wasn't a compact gun, but for someone of my size, I could conceal it relatively easily. As I'm not a fan of the micro-sub-compact-mouse-guns, a slightly smaller than full size works well for me. Your experiences may be different.

searcher451
August 24, 2011, 05:08 PM
Go to a range that rents pistols. Invite your friends who own guns to bring their weapons to the range that day as well. Stock up on ammo, and then have at it. It won't take you long before you'll find the one single pistol that best fits your hand and eye -- and that is the one to get. All you have to do after that is look for the best price that you can find, and you're done. What could be simpler?

While you are at it, be sure to check out the Walther P99C. You can get the QA trigger configuration for less than $450 at CDNN Sports.

Jabr0ney
August 24, 2011, 07:56 PM
If it makes any difference here's my body type. I'm 5' 10" and about 190 pounds, but I work out a lot so i have somewhat of a build. This is also why I'm not worried about a lot of weight on my hip. I think I could hip carry a heavy gun without much difficulty

jta
August 24, 2011, 08:16 PM
I like the Glock 26 or the XD9sc. I have both and normally carry the 26. I'm 5'8" 170 and have no problem hiding either. Both have been trouble free and are easy to shoot. With a good belt and holster the weight is is that big of a deal. I wouldn't stress to much about it. It's not like you can have to many guns. If you find a good deal on something you like get and try it. I started with XD and now have that, the Glock and a PM40 to carry.

orionengnr
August 24, 2011, 10:55 PM
I would buy Glock simply because it is commonly found in holsters of elite police and military units throughout the world.
or similar, consider this:

"Elite" police or military do not carry concealed. Therefore, the size and concealability of the pistol is irrelevant to them.
Go back and read that again, and understand it's implications.

Then understand these facts (not opinions).
--a double stack is fatter and harder to conceal than a single stack.
--a J-frame is fatter than a double stack, but in one spot (cylinder) instead of mag.

--It is possible to conceal almost anything, if you are willing to make enough compromises. Most of us are not.

Then do your homework, and take it from there.

Emphasis on doing your homework, or end up like some of us have, and buy-and-sell 20 (or 50) handguns in 20 years before figuring out what is right for you.

MICHAEL T
August 24, 2011, 11:18 PM
Also a gun that I have to break down and sand and polish almost every piece as soon as I buy it new, doesn't seem like a quality firearm to me.

Where are you getting this information from I took mine from box oiled the slide rails then fired 50 rounds broke sown cleaned and fired another 100. I carry every day . Also where the 600 round wearing out come from. Many KelTec have passed 6000 rounds And so what if doesn't send it the will fix or replace. It will take you a while to fire 6000 rounds Bullets even 9mm are expensive . I have a kahr CW -9 and the kelTed wins for carry.

Buy what you want but you will find range time and ammo add up real quick You might do a 1000 rounds in a year.

I have more pistols than I care to count. Some fairly expensive and I carry the PF-9 most of time. Why mine has worked every time I pull the trigger and I am accurate with it Its light and disappears under a t shirt. By way this my 5th KelTec others 380 and 32 's I have never had a problem with any one of them I trust them My wife and 2 daughters carry 3 of the KelTec's . They could carry a Colt S&W Bersa or the Kahr but they want the KelTec.

9mmepiphany
August 24, 2011, 11:27 PM
I'm 5' 10" and about 190 pounds,
When I was younger, I was a hair taller and a few pounds lighter (5-11, 160) and I never had a problem carrying a Sig 220 (single stack) or a Beretta 92/96 (double stack) while off duty with a slightly long and oversized shirt...and that was carrying OWB...I finally settled on a Sig 228 for regular carry and a Kahr CW9 for something more discreet

Ben86
August 24, 2011, 11:58 PM
Main requirements: under 500, 9mm or another cheap but adequate caliber, easy to conceal.

I recommend a Glock 19. They can be had right at $500 or less new. They are 9mm, simple to operate and ready to go right out of the box. If you want something even more concealable than that get a Glock 26 subcompact. They aren't as fun to shoot, but conceal even better.

Whether or not you go with a Glock I do highly recommend going with a 9mm automatic of some kind. Best all around handgun in my opinion.

4895
August 25, 2011, 12:52 AM
Can't get much cheaper than a .22 LR. Easy to conceal as well. A well placed shot will muzzle most pests on 4 legs, other than your gators of course. In the unfortunate position of self defense, it should be sufficient and most likely will never be needed, as your two legs and quick wit will serve you better. It is great fun to shoot 500 rounds for $15. Did I mention it is cheap?


P.S. If anyone tells you .22LR is not a deterrent, ask them if they would like 10 rounds in the chest to test the theory.

P.P.S. Who decided that we all need to carry half a box of ammo around all day for ccw? I almost bought a glock sub compact with a 16 round mag. Wow. My .38 special is just fine for them pesky rattlers, no legs, 4 legs, and 2 legs. Sometimes more is just more.

JohnBiltz
August 25, 2011, 04:54 AM
or similar, consider this:

"Elite" police or military do not carry concealed. Therefore, the size and concealability of the pistol is irrelevant to them.
Go back and read that again, and understand it's implications.

Then understand these facts (not opinions).
--a double stack is fatter and harder to conceal than a single stack.
--a J-frame is fatter than a double stack, but in one spot (cylinder) instead of mag.

--It is possible to conceal almost anything, if you are willing to make enough compromises. Most of us are not.

Then do your homework, and take it from there.

Emphasis on doing your homework, or end up like some of us have, and buy-and-sell 20 (or 50) handguns in 20 years before figuring out what is right for you.
Consider this, a lot of us are carrying Glocks. So are a lot of plain clothes police.

JohnBiltz
August 25, 2011, 04:59 AM
Can't get much cheaper than a .22 LR. Easy to conceal as well. A well placed shot will muzzle most pests on 4 legs, other than your gators of course. In the unfortunate position of self defense, it should be sufficient and most likely will never be needed, as your two legs and quick wit will serve you better. It is great fun to shoot 500 rounds for $15. Did I mention it is cheap?


P.S. If anyone tells you .22LR is not a deterrent, ask them if they would like 10 rounds in the chest to test the theory.

P.P.S. Who decided that we all need to carry half a box of ammo around all day for ccw? I almost bought a glock sub compact with a 16 round mag. Wow. My .38 special is just fine for them pesky rattlers, no legs, 4 legs, and 2 legs. Sometimes more is just more.

First most people would not stand there and let someone snap them with a wet towel, personally I prefer to carry something more substantial.

A Glock Sub-compact with a 16 round magazine? Which one is that?

MikeNice
August 25, 2011, 05:41 AM
P.P.S. Who decided that we all need to carry half a box of ammo around all day for ccw? I almost bought a glock sub compact with a 16 round mag. Wow. My .38 special is just fine for them pesky rattlers, no legs, 4 legs, and 2 legs. Sometimes more is just more.


Some of us live in urban enviroments where multiple assailants are more common than 1 on 1 encounters.

It isn't the right choice for everybody. For me anything less than 9 rounds is too few. I know that there has been an uptick in gangs of three or four assaulting and robbing people in the city where I work and shop. I rather not gamble on needing only 5 shots.

Now, if I never left the rural town where I live a revolver would be all I carried. Different tools for different situations.

Jonah71
August 25, 2011, 09:39 AM
I suggest that you go to your local gun shop and look at their used weapons. Handle then and get the feel for it. Settling for a gun (or anything else) is a sure way to buyers' remorse. Don't be afraid to wait for what you what. Impatience is the enemy of smart decision making.
I agree. I went through a lot of guns (and$) trying to find what worked for me and I listened to a lot of people tell me what would. Don't be in a hurry.

Madcap_Magician
August 25, 2011, 09:49 AM
That XD9 subcompact will hold up to plenty of shooting, and it is a very soft shooter. The M&P9c or the Glock 26 are also good choices.

easyg
August 25, 2011, 10:26 AM
P.S. If anyone tells you .22LR is not a deterrent, ask them if they would like 10 rounds in the chest to test the theory.

Any weapon can be a "deterrent".
But if you should even need to shoot someone, you will want that person to immediately STOP whatever they are doing.
The .22LR, when fired from a handgun, has a dismal record for quickly stopping aggressive humans.
And sure, 10 rounds to your enemy's chest would be great.
Unfortunately, most predatory criminals will not have the decency to just stand there and let you shoot them 10 times.
Most attacks occur within less than 8 feet (it's very difficult to mug someone from 30+ feet away), and at that range you would be very lucky to get off even one or two shots before your shooting arm could be seized.


P.P.S. Who decided that we all need to carry half a box of ammo around all day for ccw? I almost bought a glock sub compact with a 16 round mag. Wow. My .38 special is just fine for them pesky rattlers, no legs, 4 legs, and 2 legs. Sometimes more is just more.
I don't think I need to carry half a box of ammo, but my Glock 26 (with a Pearce magazine extension) allows me to carry 12 9mm rounds within my pistol and it's still not much larger than a 5-shot J-frame snub-nose revolver.
And my Ruger SR9c allows for me to carry 11 9mm rounds, and it's only slightly larger than a J-frame snubbie.

Alicia
August 25, 2011, 01:53 PM
I agree with trying out whatever you can as a rental first. I wish i had. My head was spinning with all the choices out there. I ended up with the Ruger LC9. I'm new to shooting so I don't have much to compare it to. I bought it over the summer but with school out only got to fire it once until this week when school finally started again. I've been to the range twice this week, today having a friend go with me to give pointers to improve my shooting. I really like it overall, but just putting 50 rounds through it Tues and 50 more today my thumb is a tad sore and my only complaint is a really long trigger pull (which my friend tells me is my problem I'm anticipating the shot too much) I'm sure with time I'll get used to it, luckily our range has ladies day each Monday where I can shoot free so I figure every Monday that's where I'll be until I get used to it.

Jabr0ney
August 25, 2011, 09:41 PM
THanks for all the input guys!!

Ive looked into the sr9c and although it seems like a really great option, i dont know how comfortable i am with the safety since its my first gun, as in being able to hit it off on a draw. This lead me to look more towards dao without manual safetys.

I actually think for now im going to get a j frame .38. A guy gave me a website that has ammo prices that arent too terrible. Also i can get a way more reliable j frame for 300 than if i were to spend 300 on a semi auto. Later on though ill definitely get something like a glock 26 or a sr9c for those situations where you need a little more firepower

Being in florida also though means pocket carry will be more ideal in the hot months, which will be very simple with a j frame.

Once again thanks for all the help guys! This forum is great!

Josh45
August 25, 2011, 09:49 PM
Glad you was able to find something to fit your needs. Carry safe.

Ben86
August 25, 2011, 11:04 PM
Once again thanks for all the help guys! This forum is great!

We are happy to point you in the right direction, just as others have done for us. Get your gun and train hard.

engineer88
August 25, 2011, 11:22 PM
I would recommend either a glock 19 or a Ruger SP101. Both can be concealed with a good gun belt and a decent holster. Both will last forever. You can shoot 38 in the SP101 and come out $2-3 more a box than you would for 9mm.

After that look hard at a pocket pistol for backup gun or for the days you feel lazy or the wardrobe disallows carrying anything else. Whether it be a pocket auto (take your pick, everyone makes a 380 and most make 9mm even now) or an airweight revolver and you will be set.

Look into all the carry methods and their pros and cons. IE smart carry, iwb, owb, ankle, pocket, belly band, shoulder, etc. There is a lot of info to soak up. If we can help, let us Know :)

kayak-man
August 25, 2011, 11:23 PM
When I turned 21 and got my carry permit, I carried either a Ruger SR9 in an IWS holster or a S&W J-frame in a pocket holster. My dad bought the J-Fram maybe 4 years ago, and at first, I hated that gun. It was too short. Too much recoil. The grips were too small. But now, the more I shoot it, the more I like it. Its one of my favorite handguns, and easier to conceal than my SR9. I think a J-Frame would serve you well.

If you're looking at the 9mm instead of 38 just because of price, I'm pretty sure that there are a few J-Frames out there chambered in 9mm.

Another option would be to buy 2 guns. You can get an Armscor(Rock Island Armory) .38 revolver for about $202. (It may not be that much of a shooter, and I have no experiance with the RIA revolvers, so hopefully another member will help me out here with RIA quality. ) That would leave you with another $300 in your budget to pick up a .22. or you could go the other way around, and find a .22 for 200, and pay 300 for your wheelgun.....

Buying used may save you some cash, if you wanted to go that way.

Hope this helps.

Chris "the Kayak-Man" Johnson

Josh45
August 25, 2011, 11:49 PM
There's truth in Kayak-Man's post about a used gun.

I picked up my wheel gun, A GP-100 in .357 mag used for $285 OTD. I would have had $215 left over. Plenty for ammo or a very good holster. Still would have some cash out there. Deals are out there.

Call all your GS. Ask what they got and how much. Bargain with them. Throw them a price and see what they say. You will end up somewhere with you and the dealer with a comftorable price.

Jabr0ney
August 26, 2011, 12:08 AM
I was actually deciding between the sp101 and an LCR. And also eventually I'd probable pick up a charter arms pathfinder .22 for long range trips.

Sp101 pros are the choice for .357 and the recoil on the .38s would be way less

LCR pros are (I read) that the trigger is better and it would be easier to conceal

Anyone know why I would pick one over the other?

BullfrogKen
August 26, 2011, 01:03 AM
Best advice I can offer is try not to make one gun do everything. It winds up doing none of them well.


You don't have to stop at just one, you know. I sure didn't.


Define one or two precise things that you want the gun for. What's its mission in life going to be? What niche will it fill for you? Get something that fills the niche you want filled well, and resist the urge to try to find something that'll serve too many roles, do too many things.

That's what the next gun is for.

kayak-man
August 26, 2011, 01:37 AM
Bullfrog Ken is right, when you buy a gun with the intention of it doing everything, it doesn't usually work out that way. Thats what my Dad tried doing. He went through a few guns before settling on a Diamandback 380 (although now he's thinking of selling it so he can get a GLOCK).

Also, I highly doubt that this will be your last gun. You may want to just buy a reloading press Now, and then the calliber won't matter too much.

Do you drive? You might want to make sure that there is some way you can secure the gun in your car. This is helpfull for two reasons:

- In Wa(not sure about Fl) Guns are not allowed on campus.... unless its Secured and out of sight in a vehicle (I work on campus, so if I drive to work I leave it in the car. Still trying to find a way around it for when I ride my bike...) Its a nice thing to have.

- If your friends are anything like mine, they will probably want to take you to a bar on your birthday. I don't think you'll actually acquire the permit on your birthday (hopefully you will though) but carrying if you're drinking isn't a good plan. Stowing it in the car is a good idea. (Even if you only have one drink, don't carry. You and may know that 1 beer won't have a negative impact on your judgement, but if something happens, do you really want the prossecuting attorney to be able to use the words/phrases "defendand", "finnished his beer", and "drew/shot" all in the same sentance?)....(Tone doesn't carry well over the interweb, so if I sound like I'm talking down to you, I'm not - just one of those things that people looking into carrying a gun need to take into acount.)

As far as the SP101 vs LCR debate goes, it depends on if you'd rather pocket carry or belt carry (for what its worth, you and I sound like the same build). I prefer to carry my SR9 OWB, but if I need to carry concealed, I like pocket carry - I just can't seem to get that shirt to stop printing. What kinds of things do you like to do? Where do you like to go? If you spend alot of time in the "city" then the LCR might work better, but if you're an outdoors guy, you may want that extra inch of barrel length and the comfort of .357 loads if you come across Yogi/Smokey.

I think I'd get a SP101, maybe with a 2 or 2.5 inch barrel in .357, and if that didn't work out, maybe trade it for a J-Frame/LCR.

That being said, I think its only fair to warn you that I'm really lusting over buying another revolver, and the SP101, GP100, and Redhawk are all being considered. :evil:

Theres a guy, Walter Rouche (?I can never remember how to spell his name, but he's considered one of the experts on snub nose revolvers. If you're looking at the LCR, you may want to see if you can find any info from him (I think the outdoor chanel has some videos of him from when he was on Shooting Gallery)

What I wish I had done, was found some people with guns/holsters that would let me try wearing the gun to see how it fit with the way I dress. Actually, no I'm glad I didn't, cause I used to be fat, and would probably have bought one of those NAA .22 revolvers....
Hope this helps some,

Chris "the Kayak-Man" Johnson

Buck Kramer
August 26, 2011, 08:09 PM
I just bought a Smith and Wesson 380 BG, looking for the same thing you are. Ammo is slightly more expensive and it is a less powerful round; however, its super easy to conceal, and the first rule of a gunfight is to bring a gun!!!

230therapy
August 26, 2011, 08:36 PM
Learning to shoot on a J-Frame? Good luck with that! Keep the distances close until you develop good trigger control.

You should look at the S&W 442 or 642 without the lock. They cost around $400 and are double action only. Apex Tactical makes a trigger kit that you can drop in to improve the pull.

The Ruger SP101 is too big for most pockets, so it's a belt gun.

Avoid the 110 grain self-defense ammunition. It's too light. Look at 125 grain and higher.

Use ammoengine.com and ammoseek.com to find ammunition.

Start your training by reading Ed Lovette's book The Snubby Revolver. It's available in ebook format at Amazon and you don't need a kindle. Bill Jordan's No Second Place Winner is a good book.

Consider snubtraining.com's classes since they focus on running the small revolver.

kayak-man
August 27, 2011, 06:46 PM
Learning to shoot on a J-Frame? Good luck with that!

Actually, I learned how to shoot on a J-frame and Bersa .380 (I only ever I think put a couple mags through the .380, my dad didn't keep it long.) It was not enjoyable. I love that gun now, but I'm still no Doc Holliday. A smaller calliber/ bigger gun might just be better if you're learning how to shoot.


Chris "the Kayak-Man" Johnson

mmitch
August 27, 2011, 07:12 PM
You could do a lot worse than a S&W in the "39" series:

http://i730.photobucket.com/albums/ww310/satcong_01/39_2_9658.jpg

Mike

WinThePennant
August 27, 2011, 11:17 PM
Here's my take.

Everyone should have a different gun for different occasions. A concealed carry gun should be carried often, and shot seldom (overused phrase, I know). The fact is that most people hate to shoot the gun that they use for deep concealed carry (think PF9). I've yet to find someone who says, "Hey, my PF9 is great for a whole day of shooting at the range!"

Keep in mind that I think concealed carry involves one carrying deep. I don't categorize a full-size 40 oz 1911 as a concealed carry gun.

I'll be applying for a concealed carry permit soon. I'm leaning toward either the P250 9mm SC or G26 for concealed carry while wearing heavier clothes. The Kel-Tec PF9 is (right now) my #1 choice for deep concealed carry, but I'm leaning towards the P290.

Jabr0ney
August 28, 2011, 12:15 AM
Well I personally don't understand at all why someone would carry a gun they can't practice a lot with. If I'm depending my life on a firearm I know I have put hundreds of rounds through it and trust it completely

jta
August 28, 2011, 07:52 AM
Picking a carry gun is not black and white for sure. Once you realize that people don't know you are carrying a gun it's a lot easier. :cool: I bought the PM40 to because it's small but I've come to realize that I can carry my g26 wearing anything that has belt loops and a t shirt. A good holster and gun belt really help.

ACP
August 28, 2011, 06:43 PM
I went through the same as you about 20 years ago. I ended up where I began: a 5-shot J frame.

I recommend a S&W 642.

THE most important thing about carrying concealed is... actually CARRYING concealed. When it gets hot or humid or you're wearing just a t-shirt or you have to run out "just for a second".... those mid-framed blasters get left in the safe and you go out unarmed.

Better to have something in your pocket at ALL times. I like the simplicity and utter reliability of the S&W 642. Trouble? Draw and fire 5 times. No safeties to flip. No hammer to snag. No "do I have the correct firing grip to prevent a stovepipe because I am firing one-handed on my back on the ground?" No "is it time to replace the springs yet?" No "is the bullet ogive reliable with this feedramp?"

Five shots of .38 Special +P. Practice ammo is cheap. The pistol itself is under $500. Buy yourself some Crimson Trace grips for Christmas if you want. Carry a Speed Strip or speedloader for a reload. Uncle MIke's pocket holsters are $11.

larryh1108
August 28, 2011, 07:23 PM
If the OP doesn't like safeties, likes a double stack 9mm and perhaps a DA trigger then he described the CZ PCR. He mentioned a J-frame, which can work, but the range time and 5 shot capability may soon turn him sour. J-frames are not fun guns at the range.

The PCR has the DA/SA trigger, 14 rounds of 9mm and is great at the range, reliable as all heck and is a decent size for carry. It is as thick as a Glock, as has been mentioned, but it is not overbearing. The decocker is also a nice feature for a new shooter. It fills all his requirements. He should look at them or shoot one.

http://i342.photobucket.com/albums/o435/larryh1108/CZ%20USA/CZPCRleft1-1.jpg

Gunner442
August 28, 2011, 10:21 PM
My 2 cents...Used Walther P99 compact or used Smith&Wesson SW99 compact ( clone of the Walther for the most part, but priced lower) Will handle all your range time, accurate, reliable, and easy to conceal...

buster94
August 29, 2011, 01:23 AM
I have a KelTec pf9 and I bought it because it was so light and slim for concealment. This gun kicks like a fricken mule so you better have both hands on it. Also old saying " get what you pay for" applies to guns for sure, especially when your life depends on it. Cheap guns quite often are cheap for a reason,not saying all cheap guns are crap but really need check their history out.
I have gotten used to the kick and can manage it ok with both hands. It definitely is a close up gun. I have had several ftf but it only has had maybe 150 rnds through it so far.
Go to a pawn shop and try many guns out for feel to see what you feel good holding. Price the gun you like then get on the internet and check pricing and general thoughts about the gun from people that have them. Do not ask for hear say opinions as they are not worth crap,ask owners for realistic views about the gun.
Now you are more ready to buy your first gun.

wharvey
August 29, 2011, 01:51 AM
Most of the advice you've gotten is good. Only you can choose what is right for you and don't expect to get it perfect the first time.

I've been carrying for almost 15 years and have 2 carry guns. One is a S&W 6944 - a double stack 9mm compact. The other is a J frame size revolver with boot grips. The grips make it much easier to shoot and conceal. I carry the 38 most as it is so easy just to throw it and it's pocket holster, in my pocket and go. The other isn't that hard to conceal but still.

One big advantage to the revolver is that since they are cheap in comparison to a good auto loader, you can often buy a second one that is almost identical in .22. Gives a lot of cheap practice and since the trigger is usually worse on a 22 once you master it's trigger the 38 will be easy.

BTW, when using an IWB holster barrel length isn't nearly as important as grip size with respect to concealed carry. That is why some find that a full size 1911 conceals fine. (narrow grips)

FWIW, my wife just bought a cw9 for her carry gun. Nice little gun. Very shootable, but not quite pocket size where. Fraction of an inch makes a hugh difference.

To all the Glock fans, great reliable guns but hate the grip angle. New shooters probably won't be bothered but for me at least, doesn't point right for quick point and shoot required when shooting from a retention stance.

ATBackPackin
August 29, 2011, 09:22 AM
Jabr0ney

It sounds like you have pretty much made you decision on getting a DA revolver. I would definitely check out this website that has pro tips from Jerry Miculek (http://www.shootingusa.com/PRO_TIPS/JERRY_MICULEK/jerry_miculek.html). Scroll down to first season and it has six awesome videos on training with revolvers. I have a S&W J frame in .327 and love it.

If you get a chance though, I would definitely check out the Kahr CW9 or P9, almost the same gun. I carry my CW9 every day and could not be happier with my choice. If someone asked me to tell them the two things I like the most about the CW9 they would be that; 1) it has an awesome trigger that while it is a little longer than some it is unbelievably smooth and, B) it absolutely disappears while carrying concealed and does so without having to alter the way you dress. So again, if you get a chance I would definitely check them out.

Best of luck.
Shawn

Yes I realize that I used 1 then B. :)

Dr_B
October 6, 2011, 12:46 AM
A J-frame is a great choice. The airweights are great guns. They're snappy because of the light weight, but so very easy to carry and conceal. .38 is a decent cartridge for self-defense. If you want something heavier you can check out the SP101's with shorter barrels. I have the S&W 637 with a Bianchi Pistol Pocket holster that works very well.

duns
October 6, 2011, 01:07 AM
Given that you want to keep costs down (and I assume you don't want to spend hundreds on setting up for reloading), a 9mm seems the right choice since practice ammo is so cheap. Be wary of double stack models though as they can be hard to conceal (I have a Walther P99CAS, which is similar in size to a baby Glock, but I find it too hard to conceal most of the time so usually carry a J-frame). A single stack 9mm would seem your best bet. I don't own any so can't offer any specific model suggestions. Obviously, you want something durable and reliable so be sure to read lots of reviews.

Ridgerunner665
October 6, 2011, 01:22 AM
I'm gonna recommend a Glock too....because you can find holsters for any of them anywhere holsters are sold.

The gun is only part of the CCW rig....the other parts are just as important.

I'm sure the Kahr's are great, but for a new CCW'er...holster options are good to have.

And the "do-it-all" gun, LOL...I've spent enough $$$ to buy a couple or 3 nice houses trying to find it.

If this new gun is strictly for CCW it should be small, light, easily maintained, easily concealed, and able to take a beating...myself, I carried a 1911 for 15 years but about 6 months ago I saw the light...and bought a Glock 36. (best $$$ I ever spent on a CCW gun too)

WinThePennant
October 6, 2011, 09:06 AM
Well I personally don't understand at all why someone would carry a gun they can't practice a lot with. If I'm depending my life on a firearm I know I have put hundreds of rounds through it and trust it completely
A Kel-Tec PF9 is not what I would call a "fun range gun." But, it is a very effective deep concealment pistol. There's a difference.

redbeardsong
October 6, 2011, 09:32 AM
As several have suggested, the Ruger SR9c fits your requirements and is an excellent carry gun that also is easy and fun to shoot for long range practice sessions. It's slim and easy to conceal, but I can fit my pinky on the grip with the flat my base. It also comes with a 17rd mag and grip extender for range practice or nightstand use. The versatility and safety features make a it a great first gun.

hardworlder
October 8, 2011, 02:49 AM
In case the OP is still monitoring this thread, Happy 21st! Now you are a real person lol. I too reside in the gunshine state. No specific gun advice here, just some thoughts: assuming you wear typical Florida casual attire, such as a loose T-shirt and cargo shorts, you can conceal most anything with a decent IWB holster and a stiff gun belt. So unless you have to dress up for work you should be able to roll with whatever strikes your fancy. Bear in mind that in FL even without a permit you are within your rights to keep a loaded weapon in your vehicle, as long as it is in a holster or in the glove box/console. Whether or not this is a good practice is questionable, and please look up the law for yourself, but if you started with a full size handgun and later decide to go smaller you will still have a good truck/range gun. Also rust is a concern in this environment, so unless you are really anal about cleaning you will want a low maintenance finish. I do fine by stainless steel, I have gone as long as a month without oiling my daily carry and I am very sweaty individual.

230therapy
October 8, 2011, 09:40 AM
Well I personally don't understand at all why someone would carry a gun they can't practice a lot with. If I'm depending my life on a firearm I know I have put hundreds of rounds through it and trust it completely

So lots of guns have been recommended..what did you get?

I do recommend that you attend a two to four day self-defense oriented defensive handgun course. Many instructors have a variety of handguns available for loan or rent. The reason I recommend that you attend training first is because you don't really know what you need and want in a defensive style handgun.

For example, I attended FPF Training's level 2 handgun course. I had switched away from SIG and Glock and wanted to use the Browning Hi-Power. Sometime during the first day, I noticed that my hands were completely sliced up. I am left handed, so my emergency reloads are performed by my right hand. My fingers were getting cut by the razor sharp edge of the safety groove on the slide! Fixing this would require a gunsmith to remove the metal, dehorn the rest of the gun so it matches, and refinish everything. This is not a low cost procedure since a good finish can cost $300 or more (look into ION Bond).

I ended up going back to my Glock 19 for the rest of the course. The gun has no sharp edges out of the box. This is one truly great feature of Glock pistols that is never mentioned. Even SIG's can be rough on the hands.

Another good example is any handgun with a flip-up safety on the slide. This does not appear to be an issue for most shooters who use their guns only on the range. I have seen the safety activate during the reload many times in training. However, a training class makes the deficiencies of the design obvious: it's extremely easy to unintentionally activate when doing an emergency reload (when the slide is locked back on an empty magazine). The technique to properly perform such a reload involves placing the hand over the top of the slide and pulling back and releasing it. The "pinch method" or the slide release methods are very error prone under stress (remember we lose at least 33% of our manual dexterity when the adrenaline dumps).

You won't know what you need in a fighting handgun until you done some training. It's the little details that count. Perhaps the front sight is too wide and it's difficult to make 25 yard hits. Or, it could be the gun is rough on the hands. I found Glock 30's nearly impossible to reload at speed without pinching my ring finger (and drawing blood). You may find that the magazine well needs to be beveled in order for you to seat the magazine cleanly (another Hi-Power deficiency). You will have a better idea of the small features you need once you complete your first class.

Note: the above applies to belts, holsters, and magazine holders. But...that's a different thread topic.

Bobson
October 8, 2011, 10:40 AM
So lots of guns have been recommended..what did you get?
OP wrote this back in August (last post on Page 2 of this thread):

THanks for all the input guys!!

I actually think for now im going to get a j frame .38. A guy gave me a website that has ammo prices that arent too terrible. Also i can get a way more reliable j frame for 300 than if i were to spend 300 on a semi auto.

And then, still in August, this:
I was actually deciding between the sp101 and an LCR.
His last post in this thread was well over a month ago.

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